A MAJORITY position for the exclusion of private residences from the list of places where smoking is banned prevailed against two strong dissenting voices on Tuesday, during deliberations by a special select committee reviewing the Tobacco Control Regulations.
Opinions clashed at Tuesday's meeting of the Human Resources and Social Development Committee, but the votes had the final say in determining particular recommendations that would be sent to the House of Representatives for debate.
After a rigorous debate over whether a person's residence should be struck from the list, five committee members voted to remove the ban, while two remained resolute that where helpers are employed, the home should be off-limits for smoking while they are on the job.
Committee member Dr Dayton Campbell questioned whether his colleagues had any regard for the health of household helpers, whose workplaces are the homes of their employers.
"What about the children in those homes?" Campbell questioned, noting that it was the responsibility of the state to protect the health of children.
Richard Parchment joined Campbell in chiding his colleagues as they pushed for the exclusion of private homes from the smoking ban.
ALL WORKPLACES OR NONE
"If we define the workspace in that private home as a workplace for that helper, then we cannot selectively apply the law, it is either no workplace or all workplaces," he charged.
Shahine Robinson, Olivia Grange, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert and Hugh Buchanan voted to remove the smoking ban from private dwelling places. However, Parchment and Campbell rejected that recommendation.
Grange suggested that the employer and employee should "have an understanding and establish mutual respect in terms of who doesn't want to be exposed to smoking".